Not sure how to start this end of year blog, other than a year ago I was sitting here, coming to the realisation that Bones needed a years unplanned vacation, and Elise & Dani’s palomino had somehow scaled 1.60 with me and I had a team of exciting young horses… A year on, Bones is walking, Elise & Dani’s palomino is the spearhead of my team and somehow Gucci scaled 1.70 with me on, and I have another team of exciting young horses!

Leading up to Puhunui I fell off 4 times over 3 weeks… My plan of attack was if I did it at home it might rule me out of a fall at Puhinui… it’s a numbers game and lets face it, it’s always going to happen!!! By the 4th fall, I had got quite creative about how to fall off. 1st fall was at the foot of my ramp, the 2nd I tried out our new arena footing (way better landing), 3rd thought I’d try the “look no hands” at Rotorua and the 4th fall was when Gucci and I were mustering at quiet a pace, Guc slipped we both slid past the bull like a baseball player doing a home run! By this 4th fall I just stood up and hardly even felt it… think I had toned myself to hitting the deck!!!

The new arena footing is thanks to Gallagers generous sponsorship. Plus a BIG thank you to Chris Sorrell who sat on a tractor for days spreading it all out and arranged it all! From personal experience it feels nearly like a day at the beach if you happen to be lying in it! 😉 It’s awesome and wouldn’t have been possible without Gallagers and Chris. The ponies are very appreciative of it 🙂

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Elise had to have knee surgery mid November so I borrowed the ride on Quantico (Ted) for the end of season. So at Puhunui 3DE I had Cluny, Mr Hokey Pokey and Quantico in the 2*, Varadero in the 1* and Samalam in the PN. Dressage day went great, my plan was to stay in those places or move higher if possible!

Varadero gave me a great ride in all 3 phases, he’s a stunning horse that has so much talent. He finished on his dressage score and WON!!! I did think he was one of the most deserving horses to win as all season hes been knocking on the door.

Samalam was a saint XC day, as he was the last horse I rode and carried me round the XC, after getting the course off a couple of mates we had a couple of directional issues by the rider, he didn’t care he just kept his ears forward and kept jumping! He finished 2nd in the PN to Danni Lodder on My TomTom who Samalam followed all weekend. Sam and Tom, probably two of the most uncomplicated horses at the event! Samalam has since been sold but stayed in the “Family” so very excited to watch his progress.

In the 2* Cluny was my first XC ride and after a 20 half way round I pulled him up, to the words I use a lot but are so hard “time and mileage” he’s a lovely young horse, he just needs time.

Next out I had Elise’s Quantico, Elise has done a magical job of producing him, and as hard as I tried to keep us in the lead, I had a lovely clear round just time and he gave me a fantastic clear SJ to finish 4th.

Then finally the beautiful Mr Hokey Pokey, we were in a fight after dressage day when he did a flying change and a squeal in the dressage to put him in 2nd behind his little big brother! He was amazing xc day, he has guts and will do anything to try and win on xc day!!! He was a few seconds over, which as I said to Elise at the finish I’ll get out of him when I need it, but I can’t wait until next season on him! My only SJ rail I had all weekend was the last fence on Yogi which cost us the win, but who more deserving than Campbell Draper to win! 🙂

On a sad subject none of us want to talk about, Nine, aka Ni’ne leaves us today 😦  Nine has been here for 5 months, but I think we all agree feels she has been a part of our team forever. We are all going to miss her smiling face, and bad English (that we have taught her, that she uses at the most inapporiate times!) Ni’ne and Jordie have held down the fort and have worked as an amazing team, and I just want to thank them for everyday smiling, laughing and “Just one question” (hahaha private joke, that’s not appropriate for a blog!!). Ni’ne leaves a big gap and its going to take a very hardworking fun person to fill her spot, please fill out our working student form if you are interested in being a part of our team starting January 2016, CLICK HERE.

However Jordie stays on YAAAYYYY and also has a new young horse, which we are all excited about for her to bring on. Jordie has improved in her riding in leaps and bounds and we are aiming for a consolidating season next season with her 🙂

Which brings me to Andie and Elise, both out on a “holiday” – doctors orders. But here we were yesterday waiting to go mustering and one is telling the other they shouldn’t be riding and they are both sitting on a horse each arguing with each other that they shouldn’t be riding…. Hmmmm I think all horse riders are the same! 🙂 its therapy! Dani’s young horse is coming along nicely and will make his debut with the babies at Hunua PC early January.

So I guess if I sum up my year, it’s been one of the best ones yet…

I’ve been surrounded by a great team of people,

I have a Palomino about to go 3*

I have a lovely team of horses,

I have successfully taught a German very good Kiwi Slang,

I have an amazing group of Owners 

I have supportive Sponsors, Spurs of Counties, Gallagers and Platinum Performance Performance

I’ve jumped the biggest jump I’ve ever jumped in my life

& I’m getting married

Hope you all have a great Xmas and see you in the new year 🙂

Donna

 

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